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Guest Rose12

How do parents react?

7 posts in this topic

Ok, mabie this is the wrong place to put this and, if so, apologies. I am Rose a 13 year old Mtf and i'm worried my parents will react badly. I am really happy for all the kids I read about and their loving parents. So, how do parents react?

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There is no one answer to that because the reactions are as individual as people themselves. And they can be unpredictable as well. We see cases where liberal accepting parents go ballistic and it goes very badly while intolerant religious fanatics embrace their child as they are. There is no way to know.

But it is going to be a difficult and painful thing for them. Parents are heavily emotionally invested in us and have based many hopes and dreams in your future that will have to be let go before they can move on to new hopes and dreams. Most parents go through the same stages of grief that they would at a death because for many of them they have lost a child even while gaining one. Doesn't always happen but it is common.

There are things that help I believe. Go slowly and carefully and lay the groundwork. Point them to articles like this so they can begin to understand this condition rather than have the old stereotypes. This is a news site and not a trans site so it won't give you away and is seen by non trans as being less biased than something from a trans site http://aebrain.blogs...sexual-and.html

The other thing you have to do is be mature and adult enough to be treated as an adult and seen as capable of making this decision about yourself. We know it isn't a decision but they won't yet. People stop listening as soon as shouting or accusations or drama begins. And parents also then tend to see it as teen angst and rebellion. So in a way you have to grow up early. You have to stay calm and rational. That can be very, very hard. Adrenalin starts flowing and it is hard to stay calm.

Which isn't to say it will be worst case scenario and that you won't be one of the lucky ones. But it is best to be prepared. Not defensive or expecting trouble but just prepared.

Hope this helps some and all the best to you in this difficult decision and disclosure


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This is one of the hardest things you are going to face at this point. And as Johnny says there is just no way to predict how they react. It would be nice if someone would do a study and gather information on reactions of relatives but I just don't think there is anything that is being done at this time. Like Johnny says. Baby steps are good. Having information for them is good. Timing is everything. Bring it up when there are no other issues going on.


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Good advice in those posts, Rose. Nothing I can add, except that the best thing you can do is be prepared.

Read all you can here and in books and articles about the TG experience, the Standards of Care, and what other people have gone through. Know this stuff forwards and backwards. When you feel like you must tell them, be calm, be mature, given them time to vent, don't overreact to their venting, and let them know that you will be their child and will love them no matter which gender you are. Tell them you need their love and support more than anything. If they are supportive, be sure and let them know how much you appreciate it.

Best of luck.


Carolyn Marie

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I can tell you, your parent's won't be happy for you... I know how happy we are coming to our realizations and finding out who we are but, after listening to grandmother who is basically my mother for so long... I think they will be sad in so many ways, and maybe even a little angry. Cisgendered people may not know or understand how we feel, but they know how the general cisgender community perceives the trans community, and they know how the discrimination you may face and all the struggles that will be ahead of you. It hurts parents to think of their children being subjected to that, and it hurts them to think for all these years they made a mistake. My grandmother... for a long time tried to figure out "whose fault" my being trans was. For a long time she blamed it on my mother who had me from 0-6, and all of her boyfriends she and I lived with during those years. The fact is, it's no one's fault. It's who you are inside.

Try to be patient with them and don't get angry if they don't understand at first. Follow Johnny's advice and do your own research. If nothing else just tell them you've been really depressed and you'd like to see a therapist and you think this may be why.

Good luck Rose!



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As the parent of an 18 year old FTM who found out recently, I can tell you that your parents could respond in so many different and confusing ways. For me, I didn't understand what my child was trying to tell me. Apparently I was supportive and loving at the time (or so I've been told- I don't remember). I was shocked, upset, sad, angry....and on many levels, I still am. I raised this child for 18 years as a girl and it isn't easy to accept that she isn't my daughter anymore and never really was. I have a hard time with male pronouns and struggle with the name change.

Having said that, I love my child more than anything and I will always offer support and love. All I ask in return is patience. That's the advice I would give to you- regardless of your parents' response- be patient with them. It's a lot to deal with and I'm sure they only want you to be happy.

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Rose, please read the posts from all the parents on this forum in response to the thread "Boy, do I need help!" and also see if you can find the archived posts that I've written through the years and that others have, too. You will see that it is almost always very hard at the beginning, and parents will react in different ways, some of which will be painful to their children. The one thing that's pretty much universal is an initial sense of loss for the child you knew before (and that fades with time, though it takes time). But, however your parents may respond, I think you need to take the step. Just tell your parents, and explain to them what transgender means, as others here have suggested to you. Be prepared with things they can read. Then come back and let us know how it goes. Let your parents know they will find caring friends on this site who have been where they are now, and suggest that they post their feelings and questions to this forum.

Much love to you, Rose, and big hugs,


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